Waiting for The Rain

Not sure what these are called (anyone?) but we saw them on our walk today.

Apparently, after all these weeks and weeks of blistering heat, rain is on its way. The lawn is yellow, the plants are shrivelling up and it’s too hot to sleep. We need it!

It’s been a football-focussed, outdoor-living, Love-Island-watching few weeks (don’t judge me!) and I haven’t done much writing, I must admit.

But I did manage to send a letter to Writer’s Forum magazine and it’s the ‘Prize Letter’ in this month’s issue, which came as something of a surprise!

Yes, the pic is a bit blurry (it’s not your eyes) but honestly, I’ve just faffed around for an hour trying to download photos and I’m afraid (as per my last post!) I’ve decided it’s ‘good enough’.

I was responding to an article in last month’s issue by Kath Kilburn, in which she advised writers on how to keep healthy while working from home (go for a walk, get fresh air, interact with others. That kind of thing).

My response was, that although I agreed with all she said, actually (*smug face*) if you have a dog, you do all those things without thinking about it. I also threw in a couple of references to the Cinnamon Trust and BorrowMyDoggy.com for those who don’t have a dog of their own but would like to walk one.

I wrote the letter (dashed off in less than five minutes) because it was something I feel strongly about, something I know about, something I’m interested in. And I thought no more about it. And there you go – it was not only published but I won a prize for it too (a year’s subscription to the magazine), so someone (the editor!) thought it was good.

It was only a little letter but perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned there (I’m telling myself, too): write from the heart, write what you know and what you’re passionate about and not only will the words flow but you might – just might – strike a chord with someone.

It’s making me think, at a time when I definitely need to rethink my writing plans, given all the recent kerfuffle with Woman’s Weekly, who are now demanding ‘All Rights’ when they purchase fiction. (see the womagwriter’s blog if you want more info on that).

PS: I’ve just checked the weather forecast. No rain for us (if it’s right!) for another week. *Trudges off to fetch watering can*

Another pretty flower (thistle?) from our walk

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16 Responses to Waiting for The Rain

  1. pennywrite says:

    Well – that white flower looks like Queen Anne’s Lace, but don’t think it’d be flowering at this time. The purple one’s definitely thistle, or thistle-y anyhow! Well done on that letter…

    Raining here. Right now!! Smells lovely.

  2. The first image looks like what we call yarrow around here (Virginia). It grows in pretty tough soil along the edge of roads.

    I have a dog, too, and he definitely helps keep me healthy for all the reasons you mentioned!

  3. Ninette90 says:

    I too walk the dog everyday, anything from half-an-hour to two hours. I don’t often meet anywone but it does give me a chance to think, and I often come up with some good ideas for stories or sort out some small problem that is nagging in my head – not necessarily to do with writing. I often wonder what will happen when the dog is no longer with us (she’s nine now) but think I will walk by myself or borrow a dog. I don’t think I will ever get another of my own because, much as I love her, having a pet of any kind is a tremendous tie and I like to travel and go away often. I’m also enjoying my bike, so thinking of getting a contraption to either take her with me on a lead or have her in trailer. What fun that could be!

    • Helen Yendall says:

      I agree, Ninette, it is a tie, having a dog. Just this week, we were both going to be out for most of the day and I had to race around, taking Bonnie for an early morning walk and then having to dash back from my outing (and negotiate with our kind neighbour to let her out. And then I worried because he took her round to his place and I wondered what chaos she might have been causing…eg: they have a stream running through their garden and I had visions of her chasing all the ducks!!. Apparently she behaved ‘impeccably’ but who knows the truth…?!). Couldn’t imagine life without a dog now, though. When she’s not there, I miss the cuddles as much as anything! Agree that walking is great thinking time. Something to do with the rhythm, I think.

  4. Keith Havers says:

    P****d it down in Nottingham & Derby last night. Enough to interrupt the cricket anyway. Didnt last long though.

  5. chloefb says:

    From the look of the leaves it is hogweed. Which isn’t dangerous! It’s very common. The rare Giant Hogsweed does have poisonous sap but I’ve never seen it. Yarrow is usually a lot smaller and has kind of frilly leaves, a bit like a bottle brush! Queen Ann’s lace (cow parsley) is similar too but with feathery leaves and the flowers are usually over by now.

    • Helen Yendall says:

      Thank you, Chloe! I have seen rare giant hogsweed on a recent boat trip along the Avon in Stratford! The guide pointed it out to us and said that it can blind you – eeek!

  6. Maria says:

    Well done on the letter writing, a free subscription is well worth having…

  7. juliathorley says:

    I’ve been quite lucky with letters to various magazines, too. Womags seem to like it if you send a pic, too. I did one about shaking a printer toner cartridge to get a few more pages out of it, even when you think it’s empty, and won enough to buy a refill) I love the title to your letter, btw!

  8. Helen Yendall says:

    Yes, it’s good isn’t it (‘Pen Pal’ for anyone who’s wondering). But I can’t take the credit for it. The editor made up that title (or whoever set/laid out the page!).

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